Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Charming Plastic Poser

For those of you too young to remember, Ça plane pour moi was a minor hit from the summer of 1978 which––as you shall hear––featured a bouncy plundering of the Ramones-karokeing-Chuck-Berry spiked with some Beach Boys styled woots all layered on top of a trendy disco beat. Here, the video presentation gets tarted up with all the trappings of its New Wave-ish time. A time that was, quite possibly, the last era––from a fashion perspective––that truly forged its own identity (IMHO).

Non-French speaking listeners may now unlock the mystery of the lyrics although I suspect something may've been lost in the translation:

Plastic Bertrand was a Belgian TV personality (whether he was prior to this record I can't tell) who Milli Vanilli'd his way (the vocal was the producer's) to a brief media success. This song may be one instance where such a thinly veiled attempt to pander to a market trend actually produced some decent results. (It was awfully catchy. Sonic Youth thought enough of it to produce their own cover.) The music itself was actually the backing track from the song Jet Boy, Jet Girl, a song with a frank gay theme that could've used a little more entendré and a little less of a 12 year old's clubhouse take of first time sex. Thanks to hip hop, U.S. radio is now loaded with similar sexual boastings (though not with gay themes, god forbid) and none of it nearly as jovial as this ditty. Even now U.S. radio has yet to tackle such themes on its airwaves (unless it's buried as cleverly as it was with Walk on the Wild Side). And the video on U.S. television? Not a chance. Take note of singer Elton Motello's t-shirt in the video below.

And then, someone had some fun with it:

And speaking of posers, here's some enthusiastic ire aimed at them from N.E.R.D. in 2001. (Though, arguably, the presenters may be doing some serious posing of their own here given the trendy paraphernalia. Still, forgivable given the results.)

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